A Rapunzel Story

(This is my second entry to Dove and Indiblogger's 'My Beautiful Hair Story' contest. Here's presenting a fairytale with a twist. :P )

Once upon a time, in a land enchanting and far, there lived a Queen who's beauty and grace were incomparable. The queen was called Rapunzel and she lived in the Royal Palace with her King Daniel and daughter Ariel. On a bright summer morning, Queen Rapunzel sat with her hand-maidens in her chambers, getting ready for the Royal Ball. The Queen was very virtuous and kind, with lovely green eyes and red lips. But the most beautiful of all were her golden hair, cascading down from her shoulders all the way to the floor, enveloping her in a silken cape of gold. As Rapunzel sat adjusting a  flower on her dress, her eyes caught a glimpse of a figure crouching near the curtains.

'Ariel! Is that you? Aren't you ready yet?'

There was a fit of giggling and a young girl of around eleven appeared from amidst the curtains.'How did you know it was me Mumma?', she cried, running to her mother.

'Careful, little Princess!'

'Oh Mumma, how graceful you look! You do have the prettiest hair!'

'So do you, my lovely, now let's get ready'

'Is it true that they were once ten times as long and Father used them as a rope?'

'Yes, my dear'

'Then why did you cut them off Mumma?'

'Oh it's a long story, my sweet. You really should be getting ready now.'

'Pray tell me Mumma! I want to know! Tell me while I get dressed'

Seeing the young princesses' eyes alight with curiosity, Rapunzel had no choice but to oblige.
"Many, many years ago, when I was a fair maiden of twelve, an evil Enchantress abducted me from my humble home and placed me in a tall dark tower with a single window.  There she would visit me everyday to bring me food and clothing. She would stand at the foot of the tower and shout,' Rapunzel, let down your hair' and I would let down my long, golden hair which she'd climb up on. Many years thus passed with my being locked up in the dark, lonely tower. I begged the cruel witch for my release but she would not free me.

One day, resigned to my melancholy life, I sat singing by the window when I heard a man's voice cry 'Rapunzel! Rapunzel! Let down your hair!'. I gazed down and my eyes saw a handsome prince.

'Who are you?', I asked, scared.

The prince looked up at me with his kind brown eyes and told me he'd heard me sing and felt drawn towards me. 'Trust me, lady, I wish to save you from your plight.'So I let down my hair and let the prince into my prison.

'Come with me', he said,' I will take you to my kingdom and make you my princess.''But how will we escape?My feet are shackled and we neither have a rope nor a ladder.'The prince thought hard and came up with a plan. He would come the next day with an axe to break the shackles and a rope to climb down with.So I bid the Prince good-bye with tears of joy in my eyes.

The next day, the Sun rose bright and majestic. Birds chirped delightfully and I sang a song of joy and love. Just then I heard the words, 'Rapunzel! Rapunzel! Let down your hair!'. It was the witch. I sighed and let down my golden mane.

'Oh how she pulls at my hair! The prince was so much gentler!', I erringly exclaimed. To my horror, the witch heard me and tortured me into telling her everything. She went mad with rage and started towards me. But just then, an evil glint came into her eyes and she said simply, 'Let down your hair. I wish to leave.'

I was confused over the witch's reaction as I had expected worse. But all my fears came true when she reached the ground. Cackling with laughter, she took out her wand and cursed me. Immediately, my hair erupted in flames!'Now your beloved Prince won't be able to visit you!', she growled.

I screamed and wailed! Though the fire died in a while, my hair were destroyed. They looked like ashes and I knew the Prince won't be able to climb up them. When the Prince came later that day, he found me distraugt. I told him about all that had happened. I asked him to forget me and leave, lest the wicked witch do him harm.

'No, my lady', he cried,' I have vowed to make you my Princess and I shall fulfill it. Wait for me at sundown.'Saying this, he galloped off into the forest.

The Prince rode to the heart of the forest to the place where the Wise Lady dwelt. He told her all about my plight and begged for help.

'There is but one way to help the poor lady. You must visit the Garden of Plenty and search for the tree on which the Blue Dove dwells. Beneath that tree, grows the magical herb of Lauretheam. Bring that to me and I shall make you a potion.'The Prince hurried to the Garden of Plenty as instructed and looked around for the Blue Dove. He searched and searched but there was no sign of it. He grew disheartened and began to weep. Just then he heard a beautiful, musical singing.

'Why, that reminds of Rapunzel!', he thought. Entranced, he followed the sound to it's source and to his surprise, it was the Blue Dove that had beckoned him. Overjoyed with his luck, he located the magical herb and ran off to the witch as fast as the horse would carry him.The Wise Lady brewed the potion and told him, 'Rapunzel must apply it to her hair only when the moon beams shine. If the magic works, her hair will be healthy and strong in no time.'So, the Prince gave me the potion, I applied it as directed and that was the end of my hair problems. I let down my hair and the Prince climbed up and broke my shackles with the axe. But just as we were about to fix the rope on the window, it burst into flames! The witch had jinxed the window!

'There is only one way to escape now. Cut my hair and we will use it as a rope', I said, thinking fast.The Prince was startled,'No Rapunzel, we can't cut your beautiful hair!.'But I was adamant and seeing that there was no other way, the Prince took out his sword and chopped off my hair. Then using it as a rope, we climbed down the tower and made our great escape into the moonlight."

Rapunzel finished with a tear in her eye.

'Mother! That is the most beautiful story I've ever heard!', Ariel beamed and hugged her mother.

And they lived happily ever after.

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